For years, the summer sky above Cedar Rapids has been a canvas of brilliance, shining with the mesmerizing spectacle of the annual Balloon Glow. My wife and I were eagerly awaiting it since we learned about it soon after I started in May. Hot air balloons illuminating the night sky, uh, yes, please. I’ve seen pictures and they looked like the balloons were casting a magical spell over Cedar Rapids.  

However, this year, there's an unexpected void in the festivities. The Freedom Festival organizers have made the difficult decision to cancel the Balloon Glow due to circumstances we’re all too familiar with, weather. Instead of the usual hum of excitement and the gentle whoosh of hot air filling balloons, there will be a palpable absence. 

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Yet, amidst this disappointment, there is still much to celebrate.  Here's what our friends at the Freedom Festival had to say: 

"We are sorry to say that, out of an abundance of caution, due to the possibility of strong to severe storms on Saturday, we need to cancel our Balloon Glow event for 2024.  Your safety is our top priority, and we want to make sure everyone stays safe.  We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and appreciate your understanding.  This event will not be rescheduled in 2024.

You can still get your Freedom Festival buttons

Freedom Festival buttons are still good for 2 more weeks of programming that includes entry into DockDogs, a discounted breakfast on July 4th, and the best seats for the Celebration of Freedom Fireworks display and concert at the McGrath Amphitheatre.  The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy will be moving the VOLTA Music Festival portion of Balloon Glow to the Ideal Theatre, located at 213 16th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, beginning at 12:00 PM. Find more details here:
Thank you for your continued support. We wish you a safe weekend!"

The Highest-Rated Cedar Rapids Restaurants on Yelp (June 2024)

We have a ton of great local restaurants in Cedar Rapids, but which ones are the best of the best? To determine the top 15 restaurants in Cedar Rapids, we looked at Yelp reviews for businesses that are within city limits. Here are the highest-rated restaurants as of June of 2024:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

The Best Places to Get Ice Cream in the Corridor

We all know that there are plenty of Dairy Queens across the Corridor, as well as Culver'sColdstone, Baskin RobbinsOrange Leaf, and Aspen Leaf locations. But, there are lots of other options, too! Here are some of the other places you can grab a frozen treat in Linn County and Johnson County:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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